The old adage has always been that if you are looking for more space in your home or apartment, go vertical.

Shelving can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a home. Shelves not only make your place much more organized, they also give you a place to display some of your pictures, books or knick-knacks.

So, if we’re going to go all out and install some shelves, why not have a little fun with it?


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Photo Credit: Ladder Display Shelves

One creative way to get some shelving going in your house without putting any holes in the wall is to use a ladder. And, no, we’re not talking about those aluminum ones from Home Depot, think rustic and wooden.

With this you have a couple of options, one: leave as is, place next to wall, voilà!

But, I’m guessing that you aren’t quite going for that look. So, let’s take our old garage sale ladder and remove the smaller side that is used for support

Next, decide how you want the ladder to look, if you are going for rustic and vintage then leave it be. If you want a different feel, wipe down the ladder to remove excess dirt, sand over any rough areas, and paint or stain it as you wish.

Now, you can then lean it up against the wall if you’d like this way, and just stick to smaller trinkets.

Or, you can screw in pieces of wooden boards onto the steps and make each ‘shelf’ as deep as you’d like. This way you have more room for books, plants, candles, or whatever else you plan on showcasing.


Another great way to make shelving interesting is to use old wooden crates.

Check out a local garage sale, farm or even places like eBay for wooden milk crates, wine crates or apple crates. This give a great rustic look and since they are built to hold heavier objects will be far more stable for this purpose.

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Photo Credit: Wine Crate Shelf Complete

Bonus: this is even easier to do than a ladder shelving system

Just as above, once you get your crates determine how you want to present them, just as they are, painted, stained, etc. Then, clean, sand and paint accordingly.

Next measure out where you want the crates to go on your wall and in what design. Many people will take two, three or four crates and line them up in a row, or on top of each other. If you have a bunch of crates, then you could also stack them on top of each other, to create a large shelving unit, that would almost give the feel of a built in.

Since you will have to secure these to the wall to make sure nothing falls, you want to get them centered, as well as leveled, so get your trusty level out for this as well.

Drill or hang these from the wall (depending on what will be on display), and you are good to go.

Other Ideas?

What about you guys, any suggestion for other great DIY shelving ideas? Do you have love for specific types of shelving, or prefer nice clean walls? Let us know in the comments!

Liz Froment

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